Home > Uncategorized > Let us take this July 4th to reflect on what it means to be free

Let us take this July 4th to reflect on what it means to be free

Let us take this July 4th to reflect on what it means to be free. It is hard for one not to take their freedom for granted for we, Americans, have known no other way. Being born into a free society governed by law does not give one the ability to comprehend what life would be like under a tyrannical form of government or anarchic society. The many freedoms and liberties we take for granted are but dreams to many people around the world. If anyone born in the United States wants to know how much freedom is to be cherished, they only need to go as far as the nearest immigrant and ask why they came to America. If Americans want to know how much their freedom is worth they need only visit Arlington National Cemetery and see the price free men and women were willing to pay to defend it.

“Wherever this law is established, there is an end not only of liberty, but even of its very shadow.” Montesquieu, Spirit of Laws, BK. 12-13 1748 – In reference to a law that prevents free speech

Among these freedoms is the freedom to articulate any subject matter freely to anyone who is willing to listen. Our right to free speech can easily be taken for granted. From the first word we utter, we are never truly banned from speaking our mind. Sure some words we are taught are bad and are never to be used but as we experience society, we learn there is no real penalty for using them. We hear many ideas spoken freely even those of ideologies that we were raised to reject. We learn through experience that those who speak of these ideologies that differ from our own still have a right to voice them to anyone who chooses to listen. We say things many times without thinking and they may be words we wish we could take back. Through this, we learn the only real restriction we have when it comes to what we say comes from our own conscious that may be formed by parental or public opinion. We have never experienced a neighbor or relative being taken in the night for simply expressing an opinion.

“That the freedom of press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained by despotic governments.” Virginia Declaration of Rights, Sec. 12 – 12 June 1776

The freedom of the press is the freedom to police those who we choose to govern us among other things. The importance of the press can easily be overlooked until it is infringed upon. To understand its importance, one only needs to read Thomas Jefferson’s words on the subject. In a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to Edward Carrington, Jefferson wrote “…were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” We turn on the news or read a newspaper and expect to get news uncensored unlike many around the world who know the news in their country is propaganda put out by their government. If Americans think a news station or newspaper is being censored or pushing propaganda for the government, they will change the channel and our free market society will take care of the rest when that news source loses money as the ratings drop.

“I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it.” – A. de Tocqueville – Democracy in America

Life as a child growing up in the United States means going to school for most and getting home schooled for some. This is a freedom we have to educate ourselves as well as having the right to be educated. There are places in the world that one can be denied an education for simply being a woman. Some countries around the world filter the sources their citizens may study. Take “The Road to Serfdom” for example. That book is either sitting on the coffee table in the living room or somewhere in my office. If I was in the former Soviet Union, I would know exactly where it was and most definitely would not be publicly admitting that I had a copy in my possession. Why would I know where it was at? Why would I not admit to having a copy? These are questions only a person who has only known freedom needs to ask. Many countries throughout history have banned books and sentenced those who would read or distribute such books to imprisonment, hard labor or even death. “The Road to Serfdom” was one of these books and the fact you can simply stroll down to the local book store and pick one up is a freedom that is overlooked by many Americans. I promise you that anyone who has suffered through this kind of oppression and has immigrated to the United States cherishes this freedom everyday of their lives.

“I hope the rights of men are better understood at this day than at the framing of that deed, and we must be convinced that civil liberty is capable of still greater improvement and extension, than is known even in its present cultivated state.” – John Smilie

Neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution was written so government can limit our freedoms. These documents were written by men far greater than any elected official we have today to ensure that our freedom and liberties would never be infringed upon. The Constitution is not meant to tell the people what they can and cannot do. It is to tell the government what it can and cannot do to the people. The Declaration of Independence defines our God given rights and the Constitution sets limits on the government so they may not infringe upon them. These documents are as relevant now as they were when they were written and continue to protect our rights and liberties today. These documents are the reason we are unable to comprehend what tyranny and anarchy truly is and the reason why we know nothing other than freedom. If you are one who would attempt to take these freedoms and liberties away, you need only visit Arlington National Cemetery to see what free men and woman are willing to do to stop you. God Bless America and God Bless these United States.

John Smilie quote – John Smilie, Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention 28 Nov. 1787 McMaster 249-51, 254-56 (Found in “The Founders Constitution” Volume 1 page 455)

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: